Can We Save the Environment and Our Communities By Giving Nature Legal Rights?
Continued from previous page
This is happening. It is occurring through the work itself, as the changes in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Pennsylvania force some people to re-imagine how they think about, and feel about, the world we live in. Over time, the once- marginal starts to sound mainstream, even ordinary. At least, that’s how it happened with Cathy Miorelli, the first elected official to put rights of nature into a government law.
“I’ve always been an animal person,” Miorelli says. “I’m the kind of person who wouldn’t kill a bug if it comes in my house. So why would I want to kill a stream? Why wouldn’t we give rights to nature? It just came natural to me, like,This is the way it should be.”
Jason Mark is a co-manager at San Francisco's Alemany Farm and the editor of the quarterly environmental magazine, Earth Island Journal. He is also a co-author of Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grassroots.